CommunityVeterans In Focus


Veteran looks to make home more habitable for ailing wife

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 15:30:01-04

ALICE, Texas — A Jim Wells County man feels like his house is coming down around him.

He’s been looking for help since Hurricane Harvey and this veteran wants to make his home a healthier environment for his ailing wife.

The damage is easy to see inside Juan Manrique's home. His roof has leaked for at least four years and the resulting old and mildew is visible over much of the back end of his Alice home. Outside, it's easy to see why, no shingles on the back end of his roof.

“That's why we live here in the first room, that's why everything is stacked up,” said Manrique. “I can't put her in danger, with the fungus inside the house.”

She is Manrique's wife of nearly 50 years Idalia. The couple married around the time he joined the U.S. Army. Manrique only served less than a year before he was medically discharged for a variety of reasons.

The couple has called Alice home ever since. When Hurricane Harvey damaged his home, Manrique sought help. He never found it.

“I applied to FEMA and the community action, but to no avail,” said Manrique. “They didn't do anything, they gave me the run-around.”

Since then, the house has gotten worse. Rotting wood has gotten so bad that his back door frame has deteriorated. A cooler at the base of the door is all that keeps animals out.

Most of the Manriques’ possessions line the rooms where the roof doesn't leak, The conditions are especially tough for Idalia, who needs dialysis three times a week. Juan is committed to staying by her side.

“I’m still persistent to take care of my wife, no matter what,” said Manrique. “I’m not going to put her in a nursing home, not if I can help it.”